Haydn Staples Auckland Philharmonia Piano Scholarship Programme

The Scholarship Programme is in conjunction with the University of Auckland’s School of Music and made possible by the generous support of the Staples Education Foundation. The Programme supports the scholars for the duration of their studies by providing them with opportunities to develop a wide-ranging portfolio of skills that complement their advanced solo studies. These include:

  • A scholarship of $2,000 per year towards the cost of music studies
  • Six extra piano lessons with highly respected New Zealand piano teachers
  • Participation in masterclasses with international artists performing with the Auckland Philharmonia
  • One performance as part of a piano trio ensemble with Auckland Philharmonia musicians in recital
  • One solo performance in recital
  • One performance in concert with the Auckland Philharmonia
  • Tickets to all Auckland Philharmonia piano concerto concerts each season
  • Employability skills, mentoring and professional development
  • Participation in alumni activities once the scholar has completed the programme
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The Auckland Philharmonia Haydn Staples programme has provided me with an overwhelming support towards the first steps in my musical career. I am grateful for the variety of performance opportunities given, allowing me to widen my horizons as a musician. To date, I have participated in Auckland Philharmonia concerts on the celeste, played in a chamber group with Auckland Philharmonia players, and had a concerto opportunity at one of their recent ‘Kiwi Kapers’ concerts. The concerto was a highlight – I got a chance to chat to some of the primary school students afterwards and they all loved the concert so much! It felt so rewarding – being part of a bigger initiative to inspire and introduce the younger generation to the multi-faceted world of music and being able to share my love of music with them!
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- Catherine Chang, Haydn Staples Piano Scholar 2021

Meet the 2023 Haydn Staples Auckland Philharmonia Piano Scholars!

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Catherine Chang

Catherine Chang is in the final year of her Bachelor degree in Classical Piano Performance at the University of Auckland, studying under Richard Liu. In 2022, she was awarded runner-up and Peoples' Choice Award for the National Young Performer of the Year, as well as 'Best Performance of a New Zealand Work' at the National Piano Competition. In 2020, she was awarded runner-up and the 'Best Performance of a Classical Sonata' award at the New Zealand Junior Piano Competition. Other competition successes include first placings across IRMT, NSPAS, SAPACS and Tauranga Performing Arts Society competitions. She has performed in numerous concerts and events across Auckland from a young age – including a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1 (Mvt 3) with the Auckland Philharmonia, as well as with the Auckland Youth Choir and Auckland Youth Orchestra. She frequently performs at various community engagements, including rest homes and retirement villages. Catherine was invited to perform at the recent VIP launch event of the Aston Martin DB12, on a Steinway ‘Crown Jewel Collection’ Spirio.

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Henry Meng

Henry Meng is a pianist and composer studying at the University of Auckland. He has been playing the piano since an early age and attended Westlake Boys’ High School. Henry has been a finalist in the 2019 and 2023 iterations of the Wallace National Piano Competition, as well as winning second place in the 2023 National Concerto Competition playing Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.3. Under the tutelage of Stephen De Pledge and Rae de Lisle, Henry has attained numerous accolades across a variety of regional competitions in the country, as well as performing in New York City. He has workshopped his original compositions with the Auckland Philharmonia as well as the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

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Madeleine Xiao

Madeleine Xiao began learning the piano at age five, going on to study a Bachelor of Music majoring in Classical Performance at the age of 16. She is currently under the tutelage of Rae de Lisle, Bryan Sayer and Katherine Austin. Madeleine has achieved numerous top awards as well as scholarships where she has been generously supported by the Dame Malvina Major Foundation, Chiron Lewis Eady Foundation, AIMES North Harbour, Staples Education Foundation and Auckland Philharmonia. In 2022, Madeleine was a winner of the Auckland Youth Orchestra Piano Concerto Competition, where she received the opportunity to perform Ravel's Piano Concerto in G in a concert tour with the orchestra, including a final concert at the Auckland Town Hall. She also won the University of Auckland School of Music Concerto Competition. In 2023, Madeleine was selected to attend the Adam Chamber Music Festival in Nelson, working with the New Zealand String Quartet. She also played Chopin’s Piano Concerto No.1 in E minor with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Benjamin Northey in the Christchurch Town Hall and competing in the finale of the National Concerto Competition where she placed third. Later in October, Madeleine will be involved with the At the World’s Edge Festival where she was selected as an emerging artist. She will be touring and performing alongside internationally renowned musicians in many ensembles and events.

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